tv The Situation Room CNN April 14, 2014 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
france today and the white house said that russia has been involved in a campaign to undermine and destabilize the ukrainian government. that's pretty strong language and that's been continuing, jake. >> michelles cou kosinski at th white house, thank you. now i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." three major stories we're following. a new phase. the search for flight malaysia flight 370 moves deeper under water with an unmanned sub. why was the first officer's cell phone turned on? growing crisis. violence growing in ukraine. what did president obama just say in his phone call with vladimir putin? family's grief. a woman who lost her father and son speaks out at an emotional news conference.
i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following multiple, critical new developments in the search for flight 370, now missing for five weeks. among the latest developments, searchers are searching the ocean with the bluefin-21. with daylight breaking in the area, the air search is about to resume. also, cnn has now learned that the first officer's cell phone was on around the time the plane vanished. experts call that unusual. the phone was detected searching for a service by a malaysian se cell tower. and an oil slick was discovered near where signals of the possible black box were detected. our analysts are covering every angle of the story. they are around the world covering stories only as cnn
can. let's go straight to perth, australia. cnn's will ripley is with us on the new phase in this search. what is happening right now, will? >> reporter: it's 5:00 a.m. here in perth, wolf, and we're following several developments occurring today. the bluefin-21, the submersible, is about halfway through its 24-hour mission. it's scanning for any possible debris. it's not expected to find debris on day one but we won't know for sure until the data comes back on the ship. by this time tomorrow we would have more answers about what is down there. meanwhile, we're about an hour away from the air search. there is new questions about how long that air search will continue before the shift continues to the underwater search. tonight with hope fading that the black boxes are still sending signals, this bluefin-21
is mapping the underwater landscape. the extreme conditions will test the limits of the navy's bluefin-21. >> people need to have patience. >> reporter: the move comes nearly a week since searchers heard pings coming from the flight data and voice recorders. with the batteries on the pingers all but certainly drained, the australian search team announced it would stop listening for pings and start looking for evidence underwater. >> i would caution you that the deploy of the autonomous underwater vehicle will result in the detection of the aircraft wreckage. it may not. however, this is the best lead we have and it must be pursued vigorously. >> reporter: tonight, investigators say they spotted an oil slick discovered in the
search zone, samples being tested to determining that chances of finding debris on the surface after a tropical cyclone sending anything that was floating on the surface under water. with one civil aircraft and 15 ships assisting in monday's several, the parameters are narrowing. still, with so much time having passed since the plane went missing, the surface investigation is now expected to begin wrapping up. officials are now suggesting that the organized search will keep its focus beneath the ocean surface. we could see the air search tapering off but the bluefin-21 has a lot of work expected ahead and it's expected to be slow and grueling and very important for the families of the 239 people.
>> well said, will. thank you. we're learning a baffling new twist that is raising new questions about the plane's disappearance that raises questions in the cockpit. our pamela brown is working this part of the story for us. tell us what you have learned. >> wolf, the information could be telling. the co-pilot's phone was not turned off and it was on after the plane full of passengers disappeared. it's got aviation experts and officials believing that this opens up even more questions about what was happening in the cockpit. >> sources tell cnn that fariq ab hamid's phone was on. information cnn has learned that malaysian authorities gave to the u.s. a while ago. >> it would be very rare, in my opinion, to have someone with a
cell phone on in the cockpit. it's never supposed to be on at all. it's part of every check list that i'm familiar with. >> reporter: sources say that malaysian authorities told the u.s. that a cell tower in penang, malaysia, roughly 200 miles from where the plane turned around, picked up a ping from fariq's cell phone. he could have tried to do something with the phone. we don't know. >> the interesting thing about that is no other phone was connected to it. it's just specifically his cell phone. >> there's no evidence that the first officer tried to make a call with a phone. on sunday, malaysia's transport minister did not deny the possibility. >> as far as i know, like i said, that would be in the realm of the splits and when the time comes, that would be revealed. i don't want to speculate at the
moment. >> reporter: when the plane first went missing, authorities said millions of cell phone records were searched, looking for evidence that calls had been made from the plane, but turned up nothing. still, it only adds to the evidence that the plane turned westward from its planned paddle and that the plane was likely falling low enough for a cell tower to pick up the signal. >> it does make they think that it was perhaps lower than the 35,000 feet speculated because it did make a connection. typically there's not even time to do that. but they were just high enough and there were no long period of time. >> wolf, what this information doesn't tell us, according to u.s. officials, is a motive of who was alive and who was not at the time that the cell tower detected the co-pilot's phone. the aircraft never had a cell phone system installed. wolf? >> pamela brown, stay with us. i want to bring in the rest of our panel.
our aviation analyst, former ntsb managing director peter goelz and tom fuentes. so peter, what does it say to you that one cell phone was on, this one belonging to the co-pilot in the cockpit but apparently no other signals were picked up by any other cell phones? >> it really is intriguing. what was going on? if the co-pilot had followed the check list and turned off his phone as the plane taxied out, why did he turn it back on? i think, boy, this is intriguing but it does confirm further that there was something going on in that cockpit. >> because it's very, very strange. you've got to admit, tom, that they pick up one cell phone out of 239 people on that plane, one cell phone is turned on? >> right. that's true, wolf. i just learned about 20 minutes
ago from a malaysian source that the police obtained the phone records of both pilots the very first week right away when the plane went missing and the record shows that no calls were attempted or made or received during the period following the takeoff and they are saying it might be possible for some other company to pick up a roaming signal they are just positive, though, that the captain and co-pilot did not send or receive a phone call once that plane was in the air. >> pamela, why are we learning about this now, week six of this? >> malaysians had handed that information over to u.s. investigators a while ago and there had been some reporting over the weekend insinuating that a phone call had been made.
i want to reiterate that this was information, again, coming from the malaysians. they could be privy to other information that u.s. investigators don't know about but at this time it was believed that the co-pilot's phone is the only one that connected with that tower. >> because you know and all of us know who fly -- peter let me go to you, whenever they say turn off your cell phones, most people do that but a lot of people don't for whatever reason. it's really change that only one cell phone was picked up. that raises a lot of questions. what about the other cell phones? is there an answer to that? >> well, there isn't an answer and you're right, wolf. people -- surveys have shown that upwards 30% of phones on planes are not turned off and devices are not shut down as requested. so it raises further questions on the mystery of what was going on in this cockpit.
>> you've worked with them, worked with them when you were at the fbi, you still have your contacts over there. they are really slow in releasing these details. sometimes they come out way, way after the fact why does that happen? why can't they be completely transparent and share the details with all of us? >> this part of the case, that's just the way they are over there. they are not transparent and when they've worked with another agency or told other people about what they were looking at. so this is not direct information from them, from at the official level that there was a roaming charge, you know, shown for this phone at that time. and the question about why there were no other phones is another good question. but again, a cell tower, if it picked up. usually that's relayed back to
at some point back to the main phone company which has that account with that phone number and the information is this phone was shown to be roaming on such and such of network at such and such city and you see that, i see that on my bills when i travel internationally whether i make a call or not. when police obtained the records early on, they don't see any roaming charges and only see that a phone call was made by those two phones. >> pamela, i want to be clear on this. you're talking to a lot of sources and there's no suspicion as a result simply of the cell phone trying to make a connection that the co-pilot may have done anything wrong? >> right. at this point, nothing is being ruled in or out. there's not necessarily any additional suspicion as a result of this information. again, this was malaysian data
shared with u.s. investigators and as one of my sources said, he could have been trying to use his phone. we just don't know. just because there was a ping or a detection from that cell tower doesn't mean he would have been able to make a connection if he was trying to use his phone. there's still a big question mark as to whether or not he was. but as tom said, there's nothing in those phone records indicating that a call was made from the first officer, the captain or anyone else on that pla plane. >> how much confidence do they have about the information that they are receiving from the malaysian authorities? >> i think they have a lot of confidence. i've spoke to many folks from the ntsb in the last few weeks and they feel that they have been fully informed, that the information has been accurate and that the malaysians are digging in to get this investigation concluded. but boy, it is an uphill struggle. >> it certainly is.
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the hunt for malaysian flight 370 entered an important new phase today. brian todd is joining us with a drone searchers and operators who run this. it's a very difficult job for that vehicle but they say it's very much up to the task. its manufacturer calls it bluefin-21. for the people who run it, it's -- >> basically a smart torpedo. >> reporter: and right now it may be the best remaining hope for finding wreckage from malaysia airlines flight 370. we were given exclusive access behind the scenes at phoenix international, the company that runs the bluefin, to see just how it works. while it may launch from the side of the a search ship, the bluefin is operated by remote
control with help from a satellite. its job, not to listen for pings but to map the ocean floor and look for debris. to do that, it can use two different payloads which have to be swapped out. >> this particular payload section is the acoustic section. >> reporter: first, the bluefin uses side scan sonar and an echo sounder, it detects sound waves off the ocean floor that are not natural. if those are picked up, the bluefin can be brought to the surface. the sonar technology gets taken out and high-tech cameras are put in. >> it's a high-definition black and white camera capable of three frames per second. >> reporter: together they can create a detailed mosaic of the ocean floor. investigators are confident that if wreckage is down there, the bluefin will find it. >> the technology is good enough that we can resolve something that is good enough -- as small as a microwave, perhaps even smaller. >> reporter: but it's not an easy or fast process. it takes the vehicle two hours
to dive to the bottom, 16 hours to search a section of the floor and then another four hours to download and analyze the data collected. that means just one mission of the bluefin-21 takes a the least 24 hours to complete, meaning the search could drag on. >> given the size of the search area, that could take six, eight weeks. it's a weeks and months' type of problem to cover that amount of area. >> at the end of that period, if there is a successful find, the next step would be to send deep diving vehicles, rovs, to find the black boxes. phoenix international has manipulator arms that can do that that picked up wreckage from air france 447 in the atlantic. and that was more than 12,000 feet below the surface. wolf? >> a complicated mission. on a typical mission for the
bluefin, is any of it preprogrammed or do they do it freelance style? >> they do a little bit of both. it's got a program to run a certain distance, a certain length and height off the ocean floor. for other certain movemens, they speak to it acoustically. they have to bring the data up and analyze it and then send it back down. >> good explanation, brian todd. thank you. if the searchers are right, the wreckage for flight 370 may be under three miles of water. we're joined by oceanographer ellen preager joining us from miami. was it right to send the bluefin down now and give up on the batteries for the two black boxes? >> well, i think the team really didn't have a choice. at this point, if those pings are really coming from the black box, they need to start looking
for the wreckage on the bottom if they are not going to get any more signals from the black boxes. >> how good is this bluefin-21 in finding -- let's say there's a black box there in this area that is a relatively small area that it is, how good would it be in finding one of those black boxes? >> what it is really going to be looking for is any sort of wreckage. it's not going to look specifically for the black box. what the side scan sonar will do is create a map of the bottom. if you were looking at the land from above it and at the topography of the land, think about that under water. does anything look nonnatural, manmade? and then if you can start to find a debris field, then within that debris field or wreckage you would look for the black box. so they are really just looking for something that looks manmade on the bottom. >> are you surprised in this day and age that they can't send those signals life, stream it or whatever back to the surface, they've got to bring it back and
send four hours reviewing the data? >> you know, wolf, that's one of the most frustrating things looking at the ocean, especially in the deep ocean. we're pretty far behind space technology and you can't stream data from a vehicle. yeah, just think about how much faster this process would be if we could do it. >> are you hopeful that they are going to find something within the next few weeks based on what you know about the bottom, the floor of this ocean, where it is right now? >> you know, for those poor families waiting to hear something, i sure hope it is. but we don't know. i mean, if you run into technical problems, you have weather delays, i'll tell you, anybody who works in the ocean knows that things go wrong. so i sure hope for the families that it's sooner rather than later but it could be a very long time. you know, just the process of what they call it, mowing the lawn, just creating that mosaic
and then you've got to send a camera down and then you've got to start going down there and recover the wreckage. at those depths, it's a really difficult job. >> how much of a problem is the silt on the floor of the ocean? >> well, you know, it could be a problem or it could be good. it's a problem if the debris and wreckage has sunk into the silt and covered it up. but on the other hand, i've been a geologist for a while and if you find disturbance in the silt, that's something that you could find on the side scan sonar. thinking that you had an asteroid impact, obviously not that big, but on a miniature scale you might create disturbance around the wreckage and you could probably see that in the side scan sonar. so bad if it's covered up, good if there's clues that there is something manmade down there. >> so it might even be useful. this oil slick that they found -- >> it could be. >> this oil slick that they
spotted, they are taking a look to see if it could be oil coming from this airliner. that shouldn't be very hard to determine once they get some connect cal analysis. right? >> that's my guess. my guess is they have taken a water sample and they are going to bring it to a lab and they are going to look for the hydrocarbons in the oil, evidence of jet fuel. obviously the chemical composition of jet fuel, the hydrocarbons are going to be different than boat fuel. they are looking for the signature of jet fuel in that water sample. >> so bottom line right now, ellen, give me your analysis of where we go from here? >> well, i think it's a waiting game. we've got to wait and see what comes up on the side scan sonar and there's a great deal of people working with the technology and they are going to be good at producing these images and looking at what looks natural and what you doesn't. that can be a very hard thing to do, especially if the bottom
topography is rough and rugged. once they start looking at the images, it's just going to take time. hopefully it's down there and again get the family some news. >> hopefully you're right. ellen, let's wait and see. appreciate it very much, ellen prager, appreciate the challenges that await this search. coming up, we'll see how the passengers' families are reacting about the search for the missing jet. up next, new and violent developments unfolding right now in ukraine. president of the united states calling the president of russia. what happened in that phone call? stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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well have more coverage of the mystery of flight 370 in a few minutes but we're also watching important developments in and around ukraine right now, developments that are so alarming, president obama called russian president vladimir putin today. not only is there a flare-up in violence in the ukraine, a russian attack threat made 12
threatening moves near the u.s. destroyer in the black sea. jim sciutto is watching all of these developments for us. what is going on, jim? >> this is a confrontation between the u.s. and russia unlike any we have seen in years. the jet flying threatening close to the "uss donald cook." it flew by no fewer than 12 times. we're also learning that a russian frigate is shadowing the "donald cook." sending a message from russia to the u.s. as violence grows inside the ukraine. >> reporter: in one eastern ukrainian town after another, pro-russian militant seizing at gunpoint as ukrainian forces responded, the sides exchanged gunfire, killing at least one. today russian president vladimir
putin said he is alarmed by the violence. u.s. officials place the blame firmly on him and his government. >> russia continues to engage in provocative actions. and it creates a threat of destabilization within the ukraine. >> unfortunately, the fact is that the arm's seizure of buildings in six eastern ukrainian towns yesterday and several more today mirrors the tactics that russian forces used in the early stages of the crimea invasion. >> reporter: it's a charge russia, however, flatly denies, describing the protests as peaceful. and accusing the u.s. of h hypocrisy beyond any limits. >> john brennan was in kiev over the weekend, saying that the
visit was part of a broader trip to europe. still, the tensions are extending far beyond eastern ukraine. today, a russian warplane flew by the "uss donald cook" 12 times. >> u.s. officials are still focused on finding a diplomatic way to de-escalate the crisis and this shuttle of diplomacy continues. secretary kerry going to kiev to meet with minister lavrov and biden is going to kiev on the 22nd. all the while, officials warning of more sanctions and further military maneuvers if russia escalates, which they accuse russia of doing right now but those additional steps, wolf, have yet to materialize. >> jim, stand by. i want to bring in fareed zakaria in for a minute. so the russian planes, you know,
this doesn't happen by accident, are effectively buzzing the u.s. warship that is in the black sea right now. that's a major, major provocation. >> it's a major provocation. it's a major shift. this is really how things seem to happen during the cold war and it's routine and there's an agreed upon pattern of behavior. for 20 years, this has not happened at all. of course, the most important thing that is going on, as you said, the tension is about the fact that there are these armed thugs, groups that are occupying about ten buildings in parts of eastern u inkkraine. what is going to happen there? if the army goes in and clears it out or there is bloodshed or violence, will 40,000 troops wading across the border in russia, will they move in on the pretext of protecting russia's big nationals? if they happens, will we escalate with that round of sanctions that jim was talking
about? >> this was an extremely tense situation. jim, you're there. show us where the areas are that are causing so much concern right now. >> well, i will, wolf. this is what worries u.s. officials. if you look at the pattern, here are the cities in the eastern part of the country and you can see that they occupy three of the regions here and you heard ambassador power there talk about what is happening here fitting a pattern that happened down here in crimea before russia effectively annexed it. you had those thugs down here taking over buildings, pro-russian forces, et cetera. the russians used that as an excuse to come in. you have that referendum and the concern here is that if russia, as fareed says, uses this excuse for taking over buildings and ethnic violence in the building to could the same here, look at this big chunk of eastern ukraine. if it's not official leanne next
official leanne nexted by russia, approved by the ukrainian government, that's a massive chunk of the country that falls out of kiev and more into the russian sphere and that's really the worry for officials now, that russia is setting up this in here for what has already happened down here. >> and accusing the u.s. of fomenting a lot of this. john brennan was just in kiev. joe biden is heading over there. president of the united states making these phone calls. that's an old cold war tactic as well. >> absolutely. the russians have a completely different alternative. russia has pushed towards their border and now you have american special ops and cia forces trying to take ukraine over. but the crucial question that we don't know the answer to is how will the ukrainians react now? because what is happening in phase one, putin was testing the
west, testing what would happen when he annexed crimea? now he's testing the government. will it do it at the cost of angering the russians? i don't think there's a master plan here. he pushes and he pushes and he waits to see what the response is. >> will putin respond to intensified u.s. and european sanctions? >> if there are energy sanctions, he will as sure as hell respond because 70% of the russian's government revenue comes from oil, natural gas, minerals, things like that. we have been very reluctant and by we i mean the europeans. that could cause an economic crisis. >> in germany they depend on this kind of energy supply from russia. >> well, the shock that this would produce, even the news of it i think could have a huge impact. we have to be honest. these things would be very painful if we were to do serious sanctions, the kind that would
matter to vladimir putin, they would matter to every american as well. >> well, jim, how far is the administration, based on everything that you're hearing from your sources, willing to go in ratcheting up the economic, political, diplomatic sanctions? >> we know that they are ready to go if the president decides to pursue them. we also know they have other responses ready to go. when i spoke with secretary hagel last week, he said the commander of nato and europe is preparing military responses. we're not talking about attacks. we're talking about further maneuvers here. more ships, that kind of thing. the question is, when do they pull the trigger on those options? when you talk about sector options, those are spread around europe. when you look at the pipeline coming into europe, multiple pipelines carrying their energy
supply in, it's not only russia that suffers, it's also europe. >> fareed and jim sciutto, thanks. it's a serious, serious crisis. be sure to watch "fareed zakaria gps" every sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern and 1:00 p.m. that's on sundays. hear how the families are reacting to today's developments as far as the search is concerned. but up next, a remarkable woman. she just lost her father and her son to a senseless hate crime and it's something to say to the whole world. >> it's been very personal to us, obviously, but because there is so much outpouring, we didn't want to hide and not let people grieve with us. (dad) just feather it out. that's right.
(son) ok. feather it out. (dad) all right. that's ok. (dad) put it in second, put it in second. (dad) slow it down. put the clutch in, break it, break it. (dad) just like i showed you. dad, you didn't show me, you showed him. dad, he's gonna wreck the car! (dad) he's not gonna wreck the car. (dad) no fighting in the road, please. (dad) put your blinker on. (son) you didn't even give me a chance! (dad) ok. (mom vo) we got the new subaru because nothing could break our old one. (dad) ok. (son) what the heck? let go of my seat! (mom vo) i hope the same goes for my husband. (dad) you guys are doing a great job. seriously. (announcer) love a car that lasts. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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our special coverage of the mystery of flight 370 will continue in a few minutes. but there's other urgent news you need to know about. a white supremacist one-time ku klux klan leader could face the death penalty for what authorities are calling hate crime shootings near kansas city. police say frazier glenn cross killed a boy and his grandfather outside a jewish community center and a woman near an assisted living facility. onlookers heard him shot an anti-jewish slogan and used a straw purchaser to obtain his guns. president obama paid tribute to
the victims during a combination passover and holy week prayer breakfast earlier today. >> nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. nobody should have to fear for their safety when they go to pray. and as a government, we're going to provide whatever assistance is needed to support the investigation as americans we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims, we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence which has no place in our society. >> turns out, all three shooting victims were christians. they were not jewish. in a remarkable display of bravery today, members of the family that lost the son and his grandfather went before tv cameras to talk about what happened. >> and i feel confident, from what i heard, that they didn't feel anything.
they didn't know what was coming. they were ambushed. so it's going to be really hard and i wanted to tell people that last night at the vigil. this isn't easy. people keep saying, how come you're so strong? and i'm strong because i have family, i'm strong because i have faith. i know that god did not do this. i know that there are evil, evil actions. but what we do have is each other and we have love and we have prayer and we have friends and family. our phone is ringing off the hook. people from high school and college and people from around the united states and all of you hear want to hear what we want to say. you know, it was a horrible act of violence and my dad, our dad and my son were at the wrong place at the wrong time for a split second. and we want something good to come out of this.
we don't know what that's going to be. so we want people to let us know if they think that something good has come from it. >> we do have a strong family and, boy, it's being tested. we don't know why bad things happen to good people. nobody does. we choose not to focus on the why or what happened or -- it really doesn't matter to us. the fact remains that, you know, two of the people that we love the most in our life are now not here. >> deepest, deepest condolences so those families. during our next hour, we'll go live to kansas and we'll speak with an expert on why a man with a long history of racism,
anti-s anti-semitism was walking around and able to do such a heinous, heinous deed. just ahead, the search for flight 370, the air search that is resuming daybreak and we'll go live to kuala lumpur for reaction from the families. one woman explains to us why she's not mourning or grieving. frequent heartburn? the choice is yours. chalky. not chalky. temporary. 24 hour. lots of tablets. one pill. you decide. prevacid. ♪ 24 hour co: until you're sure you do.you need a hotel room bartender: thanks, captain obvious. co: which is why i put the hotels.com mobile app on my mobile phone. anyone need a coupon? i don't. to truck guys, the truck is everything.
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developments in the search for the plane now missing 39 days. our senior correspondent joe johns is joining us from the malaysian capital, kuala lumpur. joe, you spoke with one family member who really opened up to you. what did she say? >> one of our cnn staffers did, yes, wolf. a wife of a crew member reached after the latest news told cnn there is too much speculation. she simply does not know what to believe. she said there's not a shred of evidence so they are still hoping and praying, she said. they are keeping their fingers crossed. carrying on with their lives in the northerly routine. as hard as that might be. she said, and here's this quote. my husband is a crew member, so deep down in my heart, in my mind, i believe he's just gone to work. he always used to travel for long periods of time. so i'm not mourning. i'm not grieving. i'm taking this casualty. i just think he's gone to work again. that's the only thing that keeps me going. that's how my children are
dealing with it, too." wolf? >> you know, joe, a lot of the family members, they've been reluctant to discuss the missing flight. many of them have remained mostly silent. explain what's going on here. >> reporter: well, i think it tracks with what the wife of that one crew member said. other things they've been saying, when they talk about this, is frustration, for example, with the briefings. some have suggested the briefings are only a waste of time. most family members who've expressed an opinion to us have told us they just want some evidence about the flight -- the fate of the plane before they make any concrete statements, wolf. >> yeah, many of those family members just saying, show us the wreckage, we'll believe it until you have some wreckage, they're not going to believe it. they don't want to believe it which is totally understandable where their perspective. all right, joe, thank you. joe johns reporting from kuala lumpur. coming up, we'll have the latest on the search for the missing plane, on the air, on
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about everything that comes standard with our base auto policy. and if you switch, you could save up to $423. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? happening now, a robot mini sub joins the hunt for flight 370 as investigators look into a mysterious oil slick on the surface. stand by for new information on the search and intriguing new crews. pro russian mobs are storming government buildings in ukraine prompting a tense and urgent talk between presidents putin and obama. and we're learning more about the suspect in a deadly jewish community center shooting, described as a raging anti-semite. could he have been stopped? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "situation room."